Once you get to Hokkaido, head to the JR office at a train station to grab yourself the little JR Hokkaido train timetable booklet!

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - traveling around hokkaido with jr pass or jr hokkaido pass. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan travel blog

 

I referred to this SO much when I was traveling around Hokkaido.

I did occasionally check Google Maps for suggested routes, which can help to know which train routes to look for in the booklet.

But because the train timings are fewer in some parts of Hokkaido, it’s important to confirm the timings.

 

The listed train timings below are from the timetable booklet for dates March 2019 onwards.

You can generally expect this to last for about a year, although someone at the JR ticket counter did tell me that it usually doesn’t change much from year to year.

So in case you’re doing research for a trip for April 2020 onwards, you can use these timings for general research purposes, and then confirm the timings when you’re in Hokkaido.

 

 

How much does the limited express train in Hokkaido cost?

Google Maps and the Japan Travel Navitime app can be good for figuring out a rough estimate of how much any route around Hokkaido may cost.

It may not be perfect, but it’s good for getting an idea.

 

If you’re traveling with a JR Hokkaido pass or JR pass, it’s FREE!

The JR Hokkaido line has a network of trains around Hokkaido.

While there aren’t shinkansen bullet trains around most of Hokkaido, there are limited express trains that go to the main cities.

And on these trains, if you’re traveling with a JR Hokkaido pass or a with a JR pass, your pass will cover you.

If you’re NOT traveling with one of these passes, there may be cheaper ways to travel around Hokkaido, instead of the limited express trains.

But for time and convenience, having one of the JR passes is very great. Most especially if you’re trying to do a lot in a little time!

I was traveling with a 7-day JR Hokkaido pass around Hokkaido.

After that pass ended, I spent a few days in Sapporo, and then one night at this Hakodate hostel.

Then I used a JR pass to get me from Hokkaido to Tokyo, since I also used it to go from Tokyo to Kyoto too.

 

See the current price of a JR pass from an official JR pass vendor (and partner website). There are 7-day, 14-day, and 21-day passes available.

 

 

Do you need to make seat reservations with the JR pass?

JR Hokkaido train timetable - reserved train tickets. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan travel blog

 

It’s not a requirement to make seat reservations if you’re traveling with a regular JR pass or JR Hokkaido pass on the limited express Hokkaido trains.

But if you want to, you can do so at any train station in Hokkaido that has a ticket counter office with the little green seat picture. You can expect this office at major train stations, and maybe a few smaller ones too.

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - buy reserved train tickets at JR office. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan

 

Train from Hakodate to Tokyo

While you don’t need to make reservations for the limited express trains, you DO need to make reservations if you are taking the shinkansen bullet train from Hakodate. (So if you are going from Hokkaido to Tokyo by train for example.)

This is one of the few shinkansen bullet trains that have reserved seating ONLY.

Most shinkansen trains have both reserved and non-reserved seating which allows you to just show up to the train station and hop on the next train that arrives.

But there are no non-reserved train cars on the shinkansen from Hakodate, so be sure to stop by the JR office before you board the train!

The JR Hokkaido pass will NOT get you from Hakodate to Tokyo.

The regular JR pass WILL be able to get you to Tokyo! (And all around Hokkaido!)

 

 

Now…

What is the train schedule for Hokkaido trains on popular routes?!

These are the listed train timings from the JR Hokkaido timetable booklet with start date of March 2019 onwards.

Always confirm once at the train station, as timings can change!

 

There are some timings below that are listed in Japanese only.

When looking at the booklet it can be easier to figure out as you can line it up with the English on the same page.

In this case, it might take a little more effort as you compare the characters on different pages to find the train station you’re looking for!

 

 

Train timings from Sapporo to Hakodate

Super Hokuto, Suzuran

JR Hokkaido train timetable - sapporo to hakodate train. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan travel blog

 

This route includes:

  • Sapporo 札幌
  • Shin-Sapporo
  • Chitose*
  • Minami-Chitose
  • Tomakomai
  • Shiraoi
  • Noboribetsu 登別
  • Horobetsu
  • Washibetsu
  • Higashi-Muroran
  • Muroran
  • Datemombetsu
  • Toya
  • Oshamambe
  • Yakumo
  • Mori
  • Onumakoen
  • Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto* 新函館北斗
  • Goryokaku
  • Hakodate 函館

 

*For the Chitose Airport, the JR train station is called “New Chitose Airport,” so you would take a train not listed here.

*Shin-Hakodate Hokuto is the train station you need to go to if you’re taking the shinkansen from Hakodate. It might be a bit difficult to see below (sorry!) but it’s the station between Onumakoen and Goryokaku, 2 stations before Hakodate

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Sapporo to Hakodate train timings morning. with chitose. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 9

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Sapporo to Hakodate train timings afternoon evening. with chitose. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 10

 

 

Train timings to Sapporo from Hakodate

Super Hokuto, Suzuran

JR Hokkaido train timetable - hakodate to sapporo train. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan travel blog

 

This route includes:

  • Hakodate 函館
  • Goryokaku
  • Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 新函館北斗
  • Onumakoen
  • Mori
  • Yakumo
  • Oshamambe
  • Toya
  • Datemombetsu
  • Muroran
  • Higashi-Muroran
  • Washibetsu
  • Horobetsu
  • Noboribetsu 登別
  • Shiraoi
  • Tomakomai
  • Minami-Chitose
  • Chitose
  • Shin-Sapporo
  • Sapporo 札幌

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Hakodate to Sapporo train timings morning. with chitose. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 9

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Hakodate to Sapporo train timings afternoon evening. with chitose. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 10

 

 

Train timings from Sapporo to Asahikawa, to Abashiri, to Wakkanai

Lilac, Okhotsk, Soya, Kamui, Taisetsu, Sarobetsu

JR Hokkaido train timetable - sapporo to asahikawa train. also to abashiri, to wakkanai. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan travel blog

 

This route includes:

  • Sapporo 札幌
  • Iwamizawa
  • Bibai
  • Sunagawa
  • Takikawa
  • Fukagawa
  • Asahikawa 旭川
  • Kamikawa
  • Shirataki
  • Maruseppu
  • Engaru
  • Ikutahara
  • Rubeshibe
  • Kitami
  • Bihoro
  • Memambetsu
  • Abashiri 網走
  • Wassamu
  • Shibetsu
  • Nayoro
  • Bifuka
  • Otoineppu
  • Teshio-Nakagawa
  • Horonobe
  • Toyotomi
  • Minami-Wakkanai
  • Wakkanai 稚内

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Sapporo to Asahikawa, to Abashiri, to Wakkanai train timings morning. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 12

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Sapporo to Asahikawa, to Abashiri, to Wakkanai train timings afternoon. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 13

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Sapporo to Asahikawa, to Abashiri, to Wakkanai train timings evening. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 14

 

 

Train timings to Sapporo from Asahikawa, to Abashiri, to Wakkanai

Lilac, Okhotsk, Soya, Kamui, Taisetsu, Sarobetsu

JR Hokkaido train timetable - asahikawa to sapporo train. also from abashiri, from wakkanai. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan travel blog

 

This route includes:

  • Wakkanai 稚内
  • Minami-Wakkanai
  • Toyotomi
  • Horonobe
  • Teshio-Nakagawa
  • Otoineppu
  • Bifuka
  • Nayoro
  • Shibetsu
  • Wassamu
  • Abashiri 網走
  • Memambetsu
  • Bihoro
  • Kitami
  • Rubeshibe
  • Ikutahara
  • Engaru
  • Maruseppu
  • Shirataki
  • Kamikawa
  • Asahikawa 旭川
  • Fukagawa
  • Takikawa
  • Sunagawa
  • Bibai
  • Iwamizawa
  • Sapporo 札幌

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Wakkanai, Abashiri, Asahikawa to Sapporo train timings morning. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 12

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Wakkanai, Abashiri, Asahikawa to Sapporo train timings afternoon. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 13

 

JR Hokkaido train timetable - Wakkanai, Abashiri, Asahikawa to Sapporo train timings evening. Backpacking Hokkaido Japan with JR pass

Page 14

 

HAPPY JR HOKKAIDO TRAIN RIDE!

 


How to spend winter in Japan

Backpacking Japan travel blog: Japan winter itinerary. Japan itinerary travel planning tips. Backpacking Japan travel blog: Hokkaido winter itinerary. Japan itinerary travel planning tips.

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Food in Japan
If you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)

And also have a look at some of these cooking classes in Japan too.

If you're looking for a route for winter in Japan, here are some ideas!
Hokkaido winter itinerary (train to get around - there are JR Hokkaido passes available, and you can use a regular JR pass too)


When the JR pass is worth it
In general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure. See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.

Natural disasters in Japan
Unfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.

My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!

See how much insurance costs for your trip.

More for your Japan itinerary
 
That's it for now!